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This topic contains 57 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  zeldaskitten 10 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #44755

    “Yeah they dropped the new girl apparently. I only found out through others talking about it on the WK forum. Nothing official.”

    Oh really? I wasn’t exactly a fan of her but I assumed Koichi and the others were. She just didn’t seem comfortable or experienced doing videos. When they first announced she’d be joining them, it sounded like they’d hired someone who was really good at all that stuff but I guess not! Her first couple of videos were super awkward…

    “you were being hardcore negative”

    Ha, true :P

    “which could have potentially scared away new users”

    That’s slightly what I aim for, besides just having a moan. I did find TextFugu as a useful starting point for learning Japanese – it built a lot of motivation and set me on the right path – but because it’s kind of barren these days and because I’ve realised some of the methods aren’t actually that great now that I know better, I doubt they’d have the same experience I had. I just hate to see people wasting their money on something the adverts say is awesome but is in reality kinda meh, especially when you consider the cheaper/free alternatives out there. I *am* a little worried about putting people off Japanese learning as a whole, but if they’re going to be put off by one single site *apparently* not being good value for money, would they really stick with Japanese long term? If that was me, I’d have just tried somewhere else :P …although that never actually happened to me so I can’t be 100% sure.

    “You haven’t been bad lately”

    I don’t go out of my way to do it, making lots of threads titled “TEXTFUGU IS THE BIGGEST PIECE OF SHHHHHHORTCAKE”, I just talk about it when the topic comes up ;)

    “That said, I’m still optimistic in the upgrade”

    I’m also looking forward to see what the upgrade brings, it’s just that I hate that it’s taking so long and with so little contact from Koichi in the meantime. Also that he’s charging so much for a half-done site (and has been for years).

    #44757

    @kanjiman8: You’re back! I haven’t seen you round here in ages :D You had a pic of Ryuichi Sakamoto as your avatar, right?

    Good to hear your studies are still going well.

    You expressed it excellently, the problem with TextFugu. You know, you could maybe try emailing Koichi to see about getting a refund, since someone earlier in the thread said the policy has been changed so that you can get a refund any time. No idea if that’s the case or whether he’d even read the email :P Would getting a refund lock you out from this forum, I wonder?

    I think ます verbs are fine to teach first because their conjugation rules are so simple and it can get you used to how verbs are used and the concept of conjugation as a whole. I agree that learning dictionary form is much more important, but there are merits to doing it the other way around. Dictionary form should definitely be taught not long after ます form though, since it’s so vital.

    I also agree that て form should be taught WAY, WAY sooner. Having it so late on is ridiculous. I found that myself even on the first time around – I kept seeing this mysterious て form everywhere but it wasn’t covered for another while on TF so I didn’t bother to learn about it properly at that time when it would have been so useful. If you know past tense dictionary form, you’ve got most of the て form conjugation down, just need to learn its uses (and ない → なくて etc.).

    Once Koichi started on WaniKani, I assumed he’d just abandon TF’s kanji section, but I’m sure he kept going for a while. It was my understanding that WaniKani was supposed to be used *instead* of TF kanji because he realised it was so garbage but I guess not.

    “On top of those three things, add to that, all the countless mistakes I’ve read about in the later lessons, incomplete Anki decks, missing URL links, and basic information that could of been written in to easily avoided confusion (e.g. the counter 人 not being explained properly).”

    Man, tell me about it ¬_¬ It’s not so much a problem for me because I don’t use TF anymore, but SOOO many people mention this stuff on the forum, it’s ridiculous.

    I don’t know if I’d recommend imabi for beginners. Yeah, he includes material that seems aimed at beginners, but the amount of linguistic and historical detail he goes into is just way, way too much, unless you’re particularly interested in that kinda stuff. There’s no way I’d have been able to make sense of a lot of that if I’d tried reading it in the beginning stages. Beginners don’t need to know that such and such a verb ending evolved from this or that form in classical Japanese :P Interesting (albeit time-consuming to read) for learners with more experience under their belt but not beginners.

    #44759

    kanjiman8
    Member

    Hey Mister. Long time no see. How ya doing?
    Yeah, I had Sakamoto and Solid Snake as previous profile pics on here. I logged into my Gravatar account for the first time yesterday in almost two years lol. Naturally, I had long forgotten the password so had to do a reset.

    Yeah, my studies have been going well, thanks. A bit start and stop at times, but I feel more of an independent learner compared to when I first started. Making friends with natives and other learners on Lang-8 has definitely helped a lot.

    Interesting point raised about getting a refund. Although I’m still bitter about the current mess the site’s in, I still think this forum is a good place to visit. Plus, if this place does ever get sorted out, I’d like to see how it will eventually look.

    As for ます form, I’m probably a bit biased as I’m basing it off my own experience. When I started to learn dictionary form on here, I got confused and kept thinking in ます form. I decided to forget all the verbs, and start again from scratch with dictionary form. It made more sense and now, I always think of a verb in dictionary form first before ます form. I find converting from dictionary form to ます is much simpler to work out.

    I completely agree with what you said about て form. There’s just no excuse for not teaching it sooner. In Genki, a lot of grammar points are built upon after learning て form. This should of been included in Season 5 at least, which is where dictionary form is taught.

    I used the first two levels of WaniKani, but don’t like the fact you can’t control when you want to study. In Anki, I sometimes want to study decks early. This can’t be done in WK. I suppose if someone likes the style of learning based on levelling up in RPG games, then WK might be good for them. I’d rather stick to Anki and using free shared decks, or making my own. I think WK should of at least been given to TextFugu members for free, or at a huge discount to make up for the kanji section on here.

    “Man, tell me about it ¬_¬ It’s not so much a problem for me because I don’t use TF anymore, but SOOO many people mention this stuff on the forum, it’s ridiculous.”
    Haha, I think Joel has almost gone into meltdown with amount of times he’s had to explain about the counter 人. There’s no excuse on Koichi’s part. It would of taken less than five minutes to add a brief chapter on counters and why their readings can change often.

    Good point about Imabi. The site is packed with information, which in a way can end up being counter-productive if there’s too much to read at once. I know I’ve been overwhelmed reading some resources in the past. As you say, it might benefit a person who’s been learning for a while, more than an absolute beginner. In such a case, there’s always Tae Kim and the mainstream books which are easy to find for free if you know where to look.

    Getting back to TextFugu, I remember defending the site when I began regularly using it just over two years ago now. Even then, the problems highlighted existed. I just didn’t realise it. Even if I can’t make use of the site once the update(s) have been added, I’d like to know that future learners will be taken care of and enjoy what us oldies have missed out on.

    I think Hashi has been a big miss here. His Tofugu videos were pretty funny, and it was good of him to pop in the forums regularly when Koichi was too busy.

    #44760

    “A bit start and stop at times, but I feel more of an independent learner compared to when I first started.”

    Yeah, that’s pretty much the same for me. I’ve started using LingQ now, plus I’m reading an intermediate, all-Japanese textbook called とびら and a book of short stories by Penguin with English translations on each opposite page. I’m at uni just now and exams are coming up soon, so Japanese has taken more of a back seat at the moment, but once the summer starts, hopefully I’ll do more.

    “In Anki, I sometimes want to study decks early.”

    Doesn’t that defeat the point of SRS? The algorithm is supposed to work out the optimal time for you to see a card again, so if you see it again too soon, you’re messing it all up :P I suppose the same could be said of accidentally missing a day of reviews, which I do sometimes.

    “It would of taken less than five minutes to add a brief chapter on counters and why their readings can change often.”

    That would have been ideal but he didn’t even have to go as far as adding a new chapter, he could have easily just said “The first two 人 numbers are ひとり and ふたり but then after that it’s pretty much just [number]+にん. Counters are weird, guys, watch out.”

    “Even if I can’t make use of the site once the update(s) have been added”

    From what I’ve heard about it, the update is going to include merging his current “EtoEto” site into TextFugu. If you haven’t seen or heard of EtoEto before, it’s aimed at intermediate/advanced users and features passages of text with recorded audio and translations, so it’s less about “Here’s some grammar for you to learn” and more “Acquire Japanese more naturally by reading and listening”. TextFugu was supposed to be getting intermediate content way back when, but then he took all that and made it it’s own site instead, the reason I’m guessing was to make more money ;) Even though it’ll be another 20 years before the update rolls out, I’m sure you’ll be able to make use of it when the time comes.

    “I think Hashi has been a big miss here. His Tofugu videos were pretty funny, and it was good of him to pop in the forums regularly when Koichi was too busy.”

    Yes, yes, 100x yes. Tofugu videos featuring Hashi were always awesome and I loved that he had a presence around the forum, even if it wasn’t as much as Koichi’s at the time TextFugu first started. It’s a real shame he’s gone now :(

    #44762

    kanjiman8
    Member

    I’ve heard of LingQ, but never really looked into it. Is it any good? The layout looks a bit like Lang-8.
    Tobira is a pretty good textbook from what I’ve read. Is it hard to find in the UK? I don’t see it listed on Amazon.
    Have you looked at “An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese”?

    I have an unusual study routine where I will review new vocab several times the first day I begin learning them.
    After the first day, I let the SRS kick in and take care of when it should be showing me the cards.
    It’s a method that I’ve found useful and something that Anki does well.

    Yes, I know of Eto Eto. I did redeem my account last year. I briefly looked at some of the lessons. It looked ok’ish.
    I think someone on here (might have been Elenkis) said that EtoEto hadn’t been updated in a while.
    That was some months ago now. I’m guessing that project has been put on hold too.

    I’m sure money plays a big part in the decision making here. I seem to remember Hashi shared some interesting stats about the amount of users TextFugu had. I think he said there were 2000 lifetime members. This was at least a couple of years ago now.
    By going on that number, 2000 x $120 (old lifetime membership fee) = $240,000. If those numbers are right, that’s getting on for a quarter of a million dollars.
    Since then, there’s been more members joining TextFugu plus all the members who have paid for WaniKani.
    Obviously there are costs involved too such as server costs, business rates and tax, employees and Koichi’s own personal expenses, etc.
    I don’t think it would be wrong to say a lot of money has been made.

    Hashi left to join a local ISP from what his Twitter account says. This place went even more downhill after he left.
    We could do with a character like him around again.

    Did you ever buy a membership for http://gakuu.com/ ?
    I bought one ages ago for $20. It’s more like EtoEto as it focuses on native material rather than actual learning.
    I just had a quick browse now and it looks like it does get updated from time to time. Not a bad resource for the price.

    #44765

    クレイグ
    Member

    If you guys were back at beginner stage where would you look now for your learning needs ? Ive tried imabi but some of it just goes over my head with references to things i dont even know in english >_> also since the kanji they use is different from the stuff ive learned in wk its a bit annoying. This site i still find useful but im starting to get annoyed at when its teaching you stuff. On season 5 at the moment and its only just started to explain casual japanese. Guess i could just power some of that ultimate vocab deck ?

    Been looking at getting those genki books so i can actually study in work (they blocked this site as social media T_T) just unsure if theyre worth the price.

    #44770

    kanjiman8
    Member

    @ クレイグ
    For grammar, if you want free resources there’s Tae Kim’s guide. I tend to find it more useful to reference rather than going through it like a textbook though. If you don’t mind paying for books or are able to borrow them, I would recommend the new editions of Genki. They’re more self-study friendly and have updated vocab and grammar points. Saying that, it is still aimed at a classroom setting and this throws up a few problems such as using ‘linguistic’ terms in explanations sometimes, and lots of practice exercises which requires partners. You can ignore the practice exercises though and google any linguistic terms you’re not familiar with. To supplement the books, I also recommend downloading the following Anki decks.

    1) Every vocab word in Genki 1&2
    https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/2743658753
    2) Every sentence in Genki 1&2 (including dialogue and example sentences), no English translations though
    https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/3894365375

    With grammar, takes some notes but the more you see it and use it yourself, the quicker it will sink in. With vocab, you can choose what words you want to learn. Most of the words I’ve encountered in Genki are common, but I have had to suspend a few ones in the Anki deck I didn’t seem necessary to learn until later on.

    Use Lang-8 and make friends with natives and other learners to practice what you’ve learnt. Expose yourself to some easy native material like a manga or anime.

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 3 months ago by  kanjiman8.
    #44774

    Strangeluv
    Member

    How is EtoEto by the way? Is it any good?

    Is it like those advanced lessons in Textfugu?

    #44792

    @kanjiman8:

    Yeah, LingQ is quite good. Having lots of texts with accompanying audio is great. One quite annoying thing, however, is LingQ’s Japanese text parser: because the language lacks spaces, it’s difficult to split words up perfectly, and the one they use doesn’t always do a good job. If you’re not bothered about “creating LingQs” and using their flash card system, you can still get a free account and read and listen to everything anyway. I only signed up for a premium account because I got a month free; I’ve paid for a few months but might cancel now as the paid-for features aren’t *that* great (mainly creating LingQs).

    Tobira has been pretty good. There are a lot of classroom exercise style parts, but it contains a lot of good reading material and has good grammar explanations with examples. I think there’s a shop down in London that sells them but they’re a little on the expensive side from what I remember. My copy though, I actually got that from missingno15 – even though he lives in New York (or thereabouts), he offered to give me it for the cost of shipping because it was taking up space in his room. I added a little extra as a thank you, but all in all it came to about £20 or so, which was extremely lucky :D

    That other textbook you mention, I’ve probably seen it but can’t remember what it was like. I’ve seen a number of different books even if I’ve not used them all.

    EtoEto hasn’t been updated, yeah. I’m assuming that’s for the same reasons TF hasn’t been updated either, because he’s merging them, albeit at a snail’s pace.

    So that’s where Hashi went! I think earlier in this thread I asked Koichi how he was doing but didn’t ask what he was up to these days, I don’t think. Hashi’s a pretty cool guy and doesn’t afraid of anything.

    As far as I know, TextFugu is still offering Gakuu membership for 80% off. I’m not sure if this is actually still valid though, it may just be an artifact of him not updating the site in so long. Back when that deal was first offered, the site seemed a little difficult, but I might have another look at it again when I have more free time.

    #44813

    kanjiman8
    Member

    @ Mister

    Is that shop in London you’re referring to http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/ by any chance?

    The cost of textbooks is especially high here in the UK. Imagine buying the whole Minna no Nihongo set lol.

    An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese is considered Genki 3 as it’s made by the same company (Japan Times), that made Genki 1 and 2.
    There’s less English in the book which isn’t surprising as it’s meant to be the start of the Intermediate stage.

    Just as I thought about EtoEto. Oh well, here’s hoping this big revamp and merger with all the sites does actually happen one day.

    Yeah, not sure if the Gakuu offer still applies but it’s probably worth trying if you’re interested in the site. I’d imagine you’d be able to get some out of it now.

    Here’s Hashi’s old Tofugu Twitter account if you’re interested https://twitter.com/TofuguHashi
    It hasn’t been updated since last July.

    #44814

    Yeah, pretty sure that’s the shop. Uh huh, here’s the book: http://shop.jpbooks.co.uk/product.php?id_product=7951
    It *is* a pretty good book but £42.99 is quite dear for me. I guess some people can afford it fine: my current flat mate, for example, bought it and recommended it to me. I’m lucky missingno15 was so generous :P

    It’s kinda sad looking at Hashi’s old Tofugu Twitter account :/
    Ah, the joys of reminiscing over something that was only a couple of years ago haha.

    #44826

    kanjiman8
    Member

    Agreed, £42.99 is quite expensive for a book. The Kanzen Master series is also expensive for studying for the JLPT. Yeah, it’s good you only had to pay for the postage.

    I recently re-watched some of the old Tofugu videos and they’re priceless. This one was very funny at the time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOYKILSjaBo

    #44832

    The same flat mate of mine bought the Kanzen Master N2 book not too long ago. It looks pretty nice – at least, at lot more stylish than the books for the old JLPT levels, of which I’ve seen a couple – but I’ll wait till I finish Tobira first before considering buying it, if at all.

    Yes! That’s the video I had in mind. I’m sure there were plenty of other good ones but that was the best. Love the way he stares at the bottle cap XD

    He wasn’t doing it in this video but it was funny how you’d often see him in the background playing StarCraft II ;)

    Those were definitely TextFugu’s glory days. I mean, he was still slow to update, but at least stuff got done *eventually*. Plus the community was more active, and both Koichi and Hashi were more active *in* it.

    It’s also interesting to see Facebook without cover pictures, on the screen in front of him when he’s writing his will.

    I just realised all their latest videos with that new girl have been removed or made private! Something bad must have happened XD

    #44838

    Joel
    Member

    Plus the community was more active, and both Koichi and Hashi were more active *in* it.

    I haven’t seen any of the moderator-types in a while. Guess we can do whatever we want. =D

    I just realised all their latest videos with that new girl have been removed or made private! Something bad must have happened XD

    I don’t think I ever watched any of them…

    #44839

    kanjiman8
    Member

    The old videos were just funny without even trying. I remember checking every few days to see if a new one was out.

    I did see one of the ‘new’ ones a few months ago if I remember correctly. Someone sent koichi a present stuff with weird notes and toys or something. They filmed it being unwrapped. It just didn’t seem funny and had quite an awkward atmosphere. I guess it didn’t work out.

    Other mods as in Sheepy and Cassandra? Haven’t seen either on here for a while.

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